Compounding accreditation kicks off in May
CHICAGO -- Compounding pharmacies, slighted by recent bad press in USA Today and other national publications (See story on page 1), will have a new tool to bolster their images in May when surveyors for the Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board (PCAB) begin making site visits.
The new accreditation board, created in April 2004 by a coalition of eight pharmacy-related professional and regulatory organizations, trained its initial two surveyors this April and began beta testing shortly thereafter.
The full accreditation process is expected to start in May or June, according to Dr. Loyd Allen, editor in chief of the International Journal of Pharmaceutical Compounding.
"Hospitals do a tremendous amount of compounding, and they have JCAHO, which is stiffening up its requirements for pharmacies right now," said Allen. "Community pharmacies and home health care don't really fit into JCAHO, but now they have PCAB."
PCAB's accreditation standards are "rigid" and involve a two-day evaluation. Pharmacies are expected to have complete standard operating procedures, a quality control and testing program, a method for recalls, and an employee education, testing and evaluation program.
The initial two surveyors will use the beta test sites to evaluate the accreditation standards and make changes based on their experiences. They will then recruit and train additional surveyors. Allen expects there will be a group of 20 by the end of the year.
"We expect tremendous growth right out of the gate," he said. "There are so many pharmacies that are going to want to be accredited, it's going to take quite a few [surveyors] over the next year to get it done."